We all have busy lives. It’s hard to carve out time to do something for ourselves. If we do find some time for self-improvement, there are many options to fill this void. Learning
self-defence can be a worthy and rewarding choice.
At the fundamental level, self-defence is an insurance policy in personal protection. It promises to provide the tools to deal with physical violence should you encounter it. According to the ABS, 4 in 10 men and 3 in 10 women have experienced physical violence after the age of 16. Given that most people carry the desire to be able to protect themselves from harm, why don’t more people learn self-defence? Maybe it’s because they feel lucky and think they won’t ever experience physical violence, or believe it is someone else’s job to protect them. Or perhaps, th
ey have always wanted to do it, but never found the time. Just keep in mind there is little time to procrastinate, or opt out, if someone chooses you as their next target.
Aikido is one of the many choices when it comes to deciding which self-defence to learn. Aikido has its roots in feudal Japan as techniques to defend against one or more attackers with, or without, weapons. These techniques have been developed over time by masters devoting their lives to the study and improvement of the martial art.
Where Aikido differentiates from other martial arts is in its philosophy to avoid, neutralise and immobilise the attacker. This means the first, often unconscious, reaction to a perceived attack is non-aggressive avoidance and, in the following steps to neutralise and immobilise, you get the choice of
dialling up the aggression as required by the situation. The ability to keep the aggression low also provides the benefit that the techniques of Aikido can be taught safely in the dojo in a friendly, co-operative way.
It is difficult to limit the benefits of Aikido to self-defence when there is so much more to this martial art. The study of mindfulness through breathing and meditation exercises will help in dealing with stressful or difficult situations. Also, the study of movement and balance keeps the body flexible and healthy. So, it is definitely worth finding some time for Aikido.